The story of the Holocaust can be traced back to World War I. The First World War was the end result of a series of miscalculations and wrong decisions. Germany was forced to fight Great Britain, France, Russia, and the United States because it had an alliance with Austro-Hungary, Turkey and Italy. In the aftermath of the defeat Germany was humiliated through unreasonable demands by the victors such as the loss of lands that used to belong to the German people as well as restriction on their capability to build up a military force.
German patriots were not happy with the armistice and many were bitter. One of those who harboured ill-feelings towards his enemies was Hitler. But in his mind it is not only the foreign powers that must be blamed for the misfortune of Germany. Hitler said that the root cause of the problems were the despicable Jews of Europe. His plan to eradicate them led to the Holocaust.
Adolf Hitler was a young soldier during World War I. He could never forget the humiliating defeat. He developed a plan to strengthen the military capability of Germany and to restore the state to her former glory. However, he had a more sinister plan hidden from public view. With full support from the Nazi party, Hitler developed a plan to systematically eradicate all the Jews in Europe. At the end more than 6 million Jews were eliminated while others were displaced and had to seek asylum from foreign governments.
Hitler believed in his heart that he was not dealing with a moral issue. He was convinced that the problem is political in nature and must be dealt with in a business-like manner. Hitler used the ideas that he gleaned from social Darwinism theory that provided justification to racial profiling.
Hitler believed that Jews are part of a race that has distinct characteristics. Hitler also believed that these characteristics were inherited and the main reason why Jews behave and think in a certain way. Hitler despised the Jews and based on his reasoning he did not want their genetic makeup to be mixed with pure German blood. In his manifesto entitled Mein Kampf Hitler enumerated the reasons why he abhorred the Jews.
Hitler said that he did not the way they look (Rash 37). He also said that he did not approve the way the Jews conduct their business (Rash 37). Finally, he said that overall they are an inferior people (Rash 37). Hitler concluded that the German people cannot intermarry with Jews because they will produce inferior children (Rash 37). Hitler devised a plan to segregate and isolate them. But in the end what he really wanted was to execute what he called the Final Solution.
Hitler’s plan called for the construction of ghettos. When he gained success he was emboldened to carry out the other aspects of the Final Solution. At the height of Nazi power, Hitler shipped Jews as if they were cattle. At the end of their journey the Jews were exterminated or forced to work in concentration camps to produce products deemed necessary for the establishment of the Third Reich.
Millions of Jews were systematically murdered at the hands of Hitler’s elite soldiers. When the Soviets liberated a major concentration camp, the world saw the true extent of the Holocaust. It is easy to digest statistics especially when it comes to faceless victims. But when confronted with the personal belongings left behind by those who were victims of genocide, the reality sinks in.
Consider the following items recovered from Auschwitz alone: a) 348,820 men’s suits; b) 836,255 women’s garments; c) 5,525 pair of women’s shoes; d) 38,000 pairs of men’s shoes; and e) huge quantities of toothbrushes, glasses, false teeth, gold caps and filling from teeth and 7 tons of hair (Fischel 117). The seven tons of hair forces the reader to see the evil of the Holocaust.
It must be pointed out that it was not only the Jews who were targets of racial cleansing. Hitler wanted to preserve the purity of the German race from Jews, Negroes and Gypsies. In Hitler’s mind, these people have certain genetic flaws that compelled them to act in contemptible ways. Gypsies and Negroes were not Hitler’s priority because unlike the Jews, these people are not owners of business and influential members of society.
Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis and yet it is hard to believe that there was a government that could have authorized such a grisly plan. People must realize the severity of the crisis faced by the Jews during that time period. In order to fully comprehend what the Jewish people faced during that time, it must be pointed out that in 1933 the total population of Jews in Europe were only 9 million.
Hitler orchestrated a plan that made it possible to kill two out of three European Jews. d the magnitude of the genocide it is important to point out that in 1933 the Jewish population in Europe was estimated to be over nine million and therefore the Nazis orchestrated a plan to kill nearly two out of three European Jews (Griffiths 12). It can be argued that in the aftermath of the Holocaust there was no Jewish family that did not mourn the death of friends and relatives.
Present Day Israel
Hitler’s desire to eliminate the Jews in Germany and then, in Europe can be considered as genocide. It was an irrational action from an outsider’s point of view. It is difficult to understand the root cause of the hate and the aggression. The direct victims were the Jews but the rest of the world understood the consequences of inaction and the lack of resources to deal with a tyrant like Hitler.
The Holocaust was not possible without World War II or the rise of Hitler to power. Many realized that war could have been avoided if there was a mechanism to resolve conflict and diffuse a tense situation. If the German people were not agitated, Hitler could not have used their vulnerabilities to compel them to thrust him into power. Thus, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, global leaders pledged that the extermination of Jews will not happen again. A few years after Holocaust, the United Nations was established.
The UN is an example of a mechanism that can help prevent wars and bloodshed. The United Nations is an international agency that helps resolve international disputes so that this will not lead to war. Before a conflict is decided in the battlefield, the UN demonstrates the power of diplomacy.
The UN also serves as a guardian that assists member countries. If the UN was immediately established after, World War I bloodshed could have been prevented. It can be argued if the UN was already a functional entity during the time of Hitler, the pressure from the international community could have created problems for Nazi party’s plan to systematically eradicate the Jews.
The UN served another major purpose in favour of the Jews. The UN paved the way for the creation of a new Israel. The survivors of the Holocaust were scattered all over the globe. But there were those who chose to go back to Israel. Those who yearned for a fresh start migrated to present day Israel. However, Jews were scattered all over the planet. The United States and Israel account for 82% of the total number of Jewish people (Dashefsky, DellaPergola & Sheskin 14).
The main reason why Hitler was driven to systematically eliminate the Jews, Negroes, and Gypsies can be traced back to racial profiling as a result of studying the characteristics of human beings.
Hitler succeeded and the Nazi party became a formidable force in Germany. Hitler and the Nazi party were responsible for the murder of six million Jews and other members of the minority group. It was a tremendous blow for the Jewish community because two out of three European Jews were killed. Hitler was able to justify his actions and proved to all who listened to him that he had the power to make things happen.
Hitler exploited the vulnerabilities of the German people. As a result, they granted him the power to change Germany. But Hitler used his new-found power not to build but to develop offensive weapons and tactics to provide the Nazi party the capability to systematically eliminate the Jews. Those who survived the Holocaust were scattered all over the world. But the majority of the European Jews who survived Hitler’s wrath, majority went to the United States and Israel.
Dashefsky, Arnold, Sergio DellaPergola and Ira Sheskin. World Jewish Population 2010. CT: Connecticut University Press, 2010. Print.
Fischel, Jack. The Holocaust. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998. Print.
Griffiths, Williams. The Great War. New York: Square One Publishers, 2003. Print.
Rash, Felicity. The Language of Violence: Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2006. Print.